ETELM to develop deep indoor networking solution for the INTREPID project

ETELM has been named as part of the INTEPID project consortium. This three-year, EU-funded initiative aims to develop an innovative platform to help first responders make more informed decisions when they arrive at the scene of a hazardous incident, enabling safer and faster exploration of disaster sites.

The challenge

During the immediate aftermath of a disaster, whether natural or man-made, first responders will often need to rely on pre-established public operator networks for critical communications, but these can quickly become overloaded or even collapse. This frailty in public networks can lead to a serious lack of reliable information and deep uncertainty about the environment and the nature and location of victims and threats, which seriously disadvantages first responders’ ability to react to the disaster.

The solution

INTREPID, which stands for Intelligent Toolkit for Reconnaissance and assessment in Perilous InciDents, aims to address this problem. The project consortium is developing a standalone platform that seamlessly integrates intelligence amplification and extended reality concepts with unprecedented smart cybernetics assistants and innovative deep indoor networking and positioning capabilities. This will allow first responders to immediately start operations without having to wait for specialised teams or for the zone to be fully secured. The INTREPID tool kit will equip teams with reliable and accurate information so that decisive action can be taken, faster.

The consortium

INTREPID is being developed by a consortium of 17 partners that includes a combination of end users, research and technical development experts as well as support partners, all brought together to develop a state-of-the-art critical communications network.

In July 2021, the INTREPID consortium was awarded €6.8 million by the European Commission to further the development of the project.

ETELM, as a professional (mission and business critical) radio expert and equipment manufacturer, will be contributing its expertise to help develop a Tactical Communication System to improve both indoor and outdoor exploration capabilities. The system will enable a private secure network with a dedicated radio coverage that will enable resilient mission-critical communications and tactical information exchanges in the field, including rich media.

ETELM will also be developing a Tactical Range Extender solution to enhance indoor coverage, enabling the INTREPID network to reach areas where signal propagation will be otherwise limited, such as underground or deep indoors.

Live disaster scenarios

As part of its development, the INTREPID platform will undergo rigorous testing to validate its effectiveness judged by its performance during three live pilots, each built to test its reliability and functionality during various critical scenarios:

  • November 2021; a metro station flood in Stockholm
  • May 2022; a plant explosion at a SEVESCO site in Marseille
  • July 2023; a hospital explosion in Madrid

Nicolas Hauswald, CEO of ETELM, said: “We’re currently in a time of frequent natural and man-made disasters which means that our first response teams are repeatedly put under immense pressure to make critical decisions in hostile environments. However, despite the increased expectations of response teams to act efficiently, signal blackouts caused by unreliable networks are still a frequent problem preventing urgent communications to take place.

ETELM is dedicated to providing response teams with a modern and effective resource to combat this growing problem. We hope that by providing the insights that our 40 years of industry experience has given us, will enrich the consortium to develop an advanced tool that allows first responders to address crisis situations as effectively and as safely as possible.”

Dr Olivier Balet, CS Group and INTREPID project coordinator, said: “We believe that advanced drones and robots that can collaborate with each other through enhanced situational awareness and onsite assistance thanks to extended reality and intelligence amplification concepts will offer first responders an unprecedented head start when operating in hazardous areas.

“INTREPID will revolutionize rescue operations and we plan to bring these innovations to the market in the next couple of years.”

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 883345.

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